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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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CNN

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02:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Comcast Cable

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Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 20, Citi 13, Dana 12, Oklahoma 10, New York 10, Washington 9, Klugman 9, Jack Klugman 6, Syria 6, Hawaii 6, Arkansas 6, Honolulu 6, Chris Christie 5, Bonnie Schneider 5, Matt 5, John Kerry 4, Texas 4, Massachusetts 4, Newtown 4, California 4,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    December 25, 2012
    4:00 - 6:00am PST  

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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. possible tornadoes, freezing rain and some folks waking up to blizzard warnings. and the storms, they are just getting geared up. >> fiscal mess. exactly one week until we go off the cliff and new word that no one is reaching across the aisle right now. and remembering a legend. hollywood says good-bye to the "odd couple's "cigar-chomping oscar madison.
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i'm dana bash. alina, merry christmas. >> merry christmas, everyone. it's tuesday, deebs 25th. "starting point" begins right now. and our starting point, those dreaming of a white christmas may be paying for that this morning. extreme weather is on the way this christmas day. millions could be in store for a foot of snow or more. it could even be a rare white christmas down south, along with a threat of tornadoes. bonnie schneider is tracking the holiday storm and, hey, good morning. >> good morning and merry christmas. unusual to see a snow storm set up here in oklahoma and in arkansas, and when you're looking back at the records some of the places highlighted in pink are going to see a white christmas and a snowfall going through christmas night. that hasn't happened in 80 years. what else is unusual.
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blizzard warnings. pop up in areas across arkansas as well as lower sections of illinois and kentucky, including paducah so this storm will really energize later on tonight, and right now though it's a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain through oklahoma city and dangerous thunderstorms with reports of pea-sized hail and you can see the lightning strikes popping up across dallas, texas into she haveport and all this energy sliding northeast. a lot of moisture coming up from the gulf that's just enhancing it. what does that mean for today? we don't have a tornado watch yet, but i anticipate we'll see one for this afternoon, especially for the areas highlighted in the brighter orange color. good risk for a moderate risk for the risk of tornadoes, hail and possible damaging winds. some of these winds could get up to 50 miles per hour or greater. if it's not enough where we have the lightning and thunder and rain we also have dense fog. make it any more dangerous to
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see if there e's debris blown apart. this is really tough this morning for those that are traveling. be very careful with the fog out there and snow building in later today and tonight. a real mess for this christmas. i hope everyone can stay inside as much as possible. >> lots for you to watch. you are a very busy girl on this christmas morning. all right, bonnie, thank you. >> and on this christmas morning, a community mourning another senseless shooting tragedy. this time in upstate new york where four fire fighters were shot, two fatally, after being lured into a sniper's trap on christmas eve morning. this is a man who allegedly set fire to a house near rochester, new york. 62-year-old william spengler, an ex-con who spent 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer back in 1980. police say after torching the home he perched himself on a
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nearby berm with a firearm and began shooting volunteer fire fighters as they entered his so-called kill zone. listen as fire fighters called for help from the scene. >> multiple firemen down, multiple firemen shot. i am shot. >> the fire is on the south side of the road. he's shooting from the north side with what i believe is an assault rifle or hunting rifle. i'm struck in the lower back or lower leg so i need ems. >> killed in the shooting, officer tomasz kaczowka, a 911 dispatcher who was just 19 years old and lieutenant michael chiapperini, a 43-year-old volunteer fire fighter who was also an officer with the webster, new york, police department. >> you know, these people get up in the middle of the night to put out fires. they don't expect to be shot and killed so it's a very difficult situation. >> the suspect eventually took his own life. the two wounded fire fighters have been identified as theodore
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scordino and joseph hofstetter listed in guarded and stable condition recovering from gunshot wounds. no word yet about a possible motive for this horrible shooting. >> here's a happy thought to start your christmas morning, dana. we're just one week away for tax hikes for every american, spending cuts that could cripple your family's budget and drag the economy back in recession. president obama not looking too worried about that. he spent christmas eve playing a round of golf in honolulu with friends. with the house hopelessly deadlocked any chance of averting the fiscal cliff will start in the senate and there's a bit of news on that front. our white house correspondent brianna keilar joins us live from honolulu, hawaii. so a slight bit of news. do tell. >> reporter: i hesitate to even say it's a slight bit of news because it's sort of exactly what we would expect, to be honest. the white house is talking about
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senate democrats about what senate majority leader harry reid will have to cobble together when the senate reconvenes on the 27th and that's really the last-ditch effort. it's seen as the senate trying to do something that can also pass the house, so this is exactly what you would expect. the real problem though is as of this morning, just a week out from when the fiscal cliff is expected to hit. there's no discussions between congressional democrats and congressional republicans even on the staff level. this is what democratic and republican sources are telling me, and overall just to remind people, instead of this being -- here's what we expect. instead of this being some big bill to try to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country which is what the fiscal cliff was supposed to be an incentive to do, we're expecting now that this is just some measure to avert the fiscal
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cliff which is the tax hikes, the spending cuts, each if they deal with the spending cuts and we're waiting to see what the measure will look like. i know what a hard-hitting white house reporter you are. i want to know whether it's apple kay, pumpkin pie or peekan pie for the president and first family on christmas day. any news on the menu? >> reporter: no, i am still waiting to find out. maybe we'll find out a little later today. you don't frequently find out until they have just released it, until the white house releases the information so we'll be standing by to let you know how the president spends his holiday. nothing on his public schedule, but, you know, he normally visits with troops so we're expecting he might do that today here in hawaii. >> that would be a wonderful way to spend christmas day. brianna keilar live from honolulu, hawaii, thanks. other stories in the news, all day and all night this
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christmas people in newtown, connecticut are paying tribute to sandy hock's victims. a kindl is being lit for each children and 6 adults and volunteers are being asked to take half-hour gifts to make sure candles keep burning. one mother said, quote, it's all about the kids and the families and newtown police officers who have began through so much have received an entire gift. the whole force got the day off thanks to officers from other communities filling in for them. >> the pope's message. make room for god. he said the faster we could move, the more efficient or time-saying appliances become, the less time we have. he also said we're so full of ourselves we don't make room for
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each other and he called for peace in the middle east and the end to the violence in tieria. thousands celebrated christmas in the same place this we believe josephus was born. hollywood is mourning the death of jack klugman this morning the versatile actor was loved by millions of tv viewers. younger fans probably remember him as a crime-fighting coroner in the hit tv show "quincy." he'll probably be best remembered for his role as the sloppy sports writer oscar madison in the tv sitcom "the odd couple." klugman's son said the actor died with his wife by his side on christmas eve no. cause of death has been announced. klugman was 90 years old. a full report of his life and career is ahead in the next half hour here on "starting point"
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and two-time actor charles durning. he died yesterday at his home. he was 89. >> ahead on "starting point," syria's government not letting up on its assault on its own people, and new concerns about a deadly mystery gas. we're live with the very latest on that. >> and video you want to see this morning. it could completely change space travel as we know it. it's an impressive development. that next. >> but first we go to break with a look at the christmas nights glowing in the negotiate in india. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature.
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i feel so alone. but you're not alone. i knew you'd come. like i could stay away. you know i can't do this without you. you'll never have to. you're always there for me. shh! i'll get you a rental car. i could also use an umbrella. fall in love with progressive's claims service. with scottrader streaming quotes, any way you want. fully customize it for your trading process -- from thought to trade, on every screen. and all in real time. which makes it just like having your own trading floor, right at your fingertips. [ rodger ] at scottrade, seven dollar trades are just the start. try our easy-to-use scottrader streaming quotes. it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup
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but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. welcome back to "early start." two vicious attacks on hungry syrian people waiting in line for bread. this happened in the span of two days. the latest attack happened and 15 people were killed by an air assault in homs province. and now traffic video that some may find tough to watch. hundreds of people were found dead in hama province. mohammed jamjoon is following all of these developments. he is in beirut, lebanon. mohammed. >> reporter: dana, it was on sunday that the attack in hama province happened according to
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opposition activists. they say there were hundreds of people in line outside a bakery, that it was the first time that a bakery had been open and a town in the last several days that had been liberated by rebel-free syrians. they say the bakery was shelled and hundreds of people were killed as a result. the amateur video posted online since then is extremely graphic. rebel-free syrian soldiers and civilians digging bodies out of the rubble. the syrian government say terrorists entered that town and that they started attacking people and blamed the massacre on terrorists which is a term that they use for opposition fighters in syria, and they say that then residents of the town called for help by the syrian military. now, this is an attack that's been widely condemned by international powers. the u.s. state department issued a state very much condemning the
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government of syria for what's going o.here's some of what they had to say in that statement. brutal attacks such as these show that this regime has no future in syria. those that commit atrocities will be held accountable. the united states calls on all parties to assist the exaccuse of the war against the syrian people. it was just a day later, yesterday, we heard reports of another air raid targeting another bakery in homs province. according to opposition activists dozens of people were standing in this line outside this bakery, including women and children and 15 people were killed in this attack and once again you see a lot of amateur videos posted online showing how the shock and grief initially after that attack really started turning into rage. people addressing the cameras saying why isn't the world helping us. why aren't arab leaders helping us while bashar al assad is massacring their people.
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religiony horrific stuff and there's fear that this will keep going on for the next days, weeks and months to come. >> something that everybody around the world is worried about when it comes to syria, and there's a possibility that happened. there's mystery gas that is reportedly coming out of there. >> reporter: that's right. according to a doctor we spoke with in homs province. half a dozen people have been killed due to exposh you're to this mystery gas. he treated more than 306 them. 60 people affected by the gas this week. he said those mo w.h.o. were close to the source suffered symptoms like paralysis and seizures and said they also responded well to atropine which is used to treatment sarin gas patients and he said it's unclear at this stage what this substance may have been. dana. >> thanks very much for that update. >> ahead on "starting point,"
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remembering grouchy oscar. a look back on the impressive career of "the odd couple's" jack klugman. ♪ [ male announcer ] everyone deserves the gift of all day pain relief. this season, discover aleve. all day pain relief with just two pills.
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top stories this morning. what started as a minor traffic stop in houston ended with a veteran decorated police officer dead. investigators say officer jim are norman just pulled over a suspect of a traffic offense when he was shot. norman apparently didn't even have time to draw his gun. a business owner who ran out to see what was going on what is also shot and killed. other officers shot and wounded the 21-year-old suspect. he's expected to survive and face murder charges. and later today egypt is expected to finally officially announce the results of a vote on its new constitution which was drafted by a muslim-dominated assembly. preliminary unofficial results from the muslim brotherhood show 64% approve the charter. an opposition count had a similar count. an opposition party soaksman said they already filed several cases in administrative courts to challenge the vote. and it's a rocket that hovers like a helicopter. take a look at this video. it may blow your mind.
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the company's spacek launching a successful test flight of its grasshopper rocket. there you see it. it launches and hovers in the air, and -- and it will eventually land virtually. take a little time and softly instead of breaking up as we normally see with rockets like that. has the potential to change space flight as we know it and save a whole lot of money in the process. ready for liftoff. spacex carried cargo to the international space station and hopes to take people there soon. and netflix users who wanted to curl up with a couch and a movie on christmas eve couldn't do it. they are were out of like. the service out for most of the day, possibly affecting millions across the u.s. and canada. on it twitter page they blamed amazon's web service for the problem. we have sad news to tell you about this christmas morning. actor jack klugman has died.
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the beloved actor starred in shows like "the odd couple" and "quincy" and when is wl it was that gleam in his eye or impish smile, audiences were always drawn to him. for millions of television viewers, jack klugman will always be sports writer oscar madison, cigacigar-smoking writer who played off sit the neat tony randall. the series ran for five years on abc and never ranked higher than 36th in the ratings, but reruns on local stations and or nick at night turned the sitcom into a cult classic, making it far more popular than klugman's other tv series "quincy." >> you are about to enter the most fascinating sphere -- >> he was the wiley medical examiner for seven seasons.
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the show premiered in 1976 as part of nbc's mystery movie. it quickly became a weekly series. when it ended klugman made brief appearances but stayed mainly on his ranch raising horses. he also continued to smoke cigarettes and eventually lost a vocal cord to cancer. >> when it first happened, i was sure i was going to get better and i didn't want to let them know i couldn't talk because then i wouldn't get a job: how are you feeling? >> one of his most mom rabble film roles was opposite jack lemon. he played a counsellor for alcoholics anonymous. >> which is the one that gives you the hives? alcoholism is an illness. pretty hard to diagnose an illness until you admit you've got it and he also appeared in "12 angry men."
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>> i never thought of it before. i guess you try to forget those things. >> klugman grew up in south philadelphia and married twice and had two sons. he earned two emmy awards for his role on "the odd couple." it was klugman's longtime friend and co-star tony randall who helped him through his throat cancer treatment and persuaded him to return to acting in the 1990s. with just one vocal chord doing the work of he returned for a stage version and television version of "the odd couple. thth klugman admitted they were probably too old for the parts, but he argued who knows them better than us. i am oscar madison. when randall died he said this to cnn's larry king
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>> you know people are going to die. you can't prepare for that finality. i don't care if he's 110 and they tell you he's gone. it knocks me out. can't accept the finality of it. a world without tony randall is a world i cannot recognize. >> jack klugman died at his home in northridge, california, with his wife peggy by his side. he was 90 years old. >> what a remarkable life and a remarkable career. dana, his son said he had a great life and enjoyed every moment of it and he would encourage others to do the same. >> seemed like he had a great life. were you an "odd couple" fan? i sure was. loved that show. >> we talked about how it was popular in the reruns. i remember it the first time around. >> i don't believe that. >> i'm old enough to remember it the first time around. >> i was going to ask if you're a felix or oscar. >> both, both. ahead on "starting point." christmas day turning into a big weather day for much of the
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country. a big accident shut down highways minutes ago and tornadoes, blizzards, freezing rain, those areas affected. >> and who made our naughty and noise list. hint, the new jersey governor chris christie, he's on it but which side? stay tuned to find out. y... i'm. what if she's not home? (together) she won't be happy. use ups! she can get a text alert, reroute... even reschedule her package. it's ups my choice. are you happy? i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. i'm happy. happy. happy. happy. happy. (together) happy. i love logistics. it's lots of things. all waking up. ♪ becoming part of the global phenomenon
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welcome back to a special edition of "starting point." i'm dana bash in washington. half past the hour. ail lina, good to see you. >> good morning. merry christmas. i'm alina cho in new york. thanks so much for being with us on this christmas morning. >> a huge storm creating a holiday travel has or. new this hour, getting word of a big pile-up involving at least 20 cars and a big rig on interstate 40 west outside oklahoma city. that has shut down the interstate for about two miles. freezing rain likely triggered that wreck and several people have been taken from the scene with injuries. our bonnie schneider is tracking the storm this morning. good morning. i know that alexandra steele was saying they haven't received snow in that area so drivers aren't used to having it on the roads. >> not on christmas day. that's what's unusual. snow before in this region this time of year, but to have it
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start on christmas day and continue through christmas night, hasn't happened in some parts of this region for 80 years. it's much more difficult to drive in freezing rain because as soon as that moisture hits any surface it ices over and driving on snow versus ice, more tracks on snowy roads. east of oklahoma city ice will accumulate and then eventually that wintry mix will change over to all snow and it will pile up in terms of heavy accumulation in terms of arkansas and oklahoma later on tonight and as we get into tomorrow, look what's ahead. we could see up to a foot of snow in parts of kentucky. the storm system advances east. on top of that to the south we're looking at dangerous severe weather with lightning strikes popping up from texas all the way into louisiana. a very dangerous situation because we have thick fog covering up much of the south so it's difficult to see if there's
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any flying debris out there, and we're likely to see these storms intensify to the point where we have a risk for tornadoes today. there's a widespread tornado threat across the gulf coast and the southeast so be careful for those of you traveling across the country today on this christmas. extreme weather happening across much of the region. >> pretty incredible. >> bonnie schneider, merry christmas. check back with you later. >> a snowboarder killed in an avalanche in northern california. his body was found at the bottom of the ridge in three feet of snow. the sheriff's office said he had been buried for five hours. paramedics tried to save him, but it was too late. >> we have been telling the ski patrol like we're missing a guy, we're missing a guy but they didn't start looking for him until two, three hours later. >> they did an initial courtesy search around and didn't find anything.
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we're concerned for safety reasons because of the unstabilize that's still up there. they kind of backed off. >> no one else was hurt. >> two people died and 11 hurt when a passenger plane krashd in myanmar. the plane was trying to land in heavy fog when it went down. authorities say a child on board and a biker on the ground were also killed. the plane reportedly had seven people on board. it was headed to up of myanmar's most popular tourist spots. a u.s. airways crew thought they smelled fuel while their empty plane sat parked in phoenix. they checked it out and saw flames shooting out of the tall. a small engine under the tail was probably the problem. >> and former president george h.w. bush will be spending this christmas day in a houston hospital. the nation's 41st president has been there for more than a month
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battling a persistent bronchitis-like cough. doctors were hoping to send him home for the holidays. the 88-year-old bush has developed a fever and is weak. we wish him well. >> nelson mandela is also spending christmas day in a hospital room. he's been battling a lung infection and the first time he won't be home for christmas since 1989 when he was still jailed for leading the struggle against apartheid. the current president says the nobel prize winner is looking and feeling much better. >> santa is done delivering his goodies this morning, so we are going to take over and we're going to look at his naughty and nice list. we'll make our own. now time to go over who see who made the cut on either side. i've been looking forward to this segment all morning. richard, you didn't get the memo
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on the outside, sorry . >> let's start with you, richard. on your nice list, you have two governors, democrats, okay, just saying, you're picking fellow democrat, but, you know, that's prerogative. one on the left coast, martin o'malley in maryland and christine gregoire from washington, why in. >> two governors leading an important new civil right struggle, the civil rights struggle of our generation, many feel as i do, and they helped spearhead the effort to gain marriage equality in their state, in washington state and maryland this year. they did it against the odds and knowing that there would be a referendum, a voter referendum if they pushed the legislatures into this and knowing also that marriage equality had never been approved in a voter referendum. they led that fight against the odds and as a result the citizens of their state are
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better off and have more fairness and more equality in their states this year. >> anna, you also chose a governor from your party as well, chris christie. >> dana, you know he was on the nice list when my democrat colleague and friend richard chose him on the nice list, too, so when richard and i are agreeing it tells you the man was nice. >> although i think chris christie could have been on my naughty list, too, ana. >> and i think he'd be happy with that, too. what chris christie did this year did put him on the nice list, got him on the nice list of bruce springsteen as they made up. we saw in the most heated part of the campaign, a couple of weeks before election, we saw chris christie go from being one of president obama's toughest critics, one of mitt romney's best surrogates to really putting the people of new jersey, his state, the disaster in the number one place, number
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one priority and worked with the local and federal authorities, embraced the help that was coming from everywhere, and that has seen him get really high approval ratings. you know, it's funnich sometimes doing the right thing is the politically correct thing to do. >> they say good policy is good politics, vice versa. would be nice if other people on both sides of the aisle followed that. okay, richard. i want to get to your next naughty because these are two republicans who gave republican leaders, the people here i cover, major, major heartburn, you see them there,ed to akin and richard mourdock. >> they became the problems the republicans were having in recapturing the senate. ed to akin, the republican senate candidate from missouri and richard mourdock from
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minnesota, made offensive remarks about women and rape and todd akin introduce the the concept of so-called legitimate rape, that if there was a legitimate rape, women somehow would not get pregnant and richard mourdock, the person, of course, who introduced the concept that rape could be a gift from god. that's what he said, and i'm sure he really didn't mean that. got them both into a lot of trouble. rightfully so. i suppose maybe the only nice thing they did also was perhaps, from my perspective, was help keep the senate in democratic hands. >> that's right. they definitely did, both of them and the lesson for all candidates, republican or democrat, don't talk about things like that. they will only get you in trouble, no matter what you say. speaking about getting in trouble, and this is obviously a serious one. ana your naughty is just the naughtiest of probably the whole year. >> and i think it was -- i put it in the list, dana, because i wanted us to remember some of
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the things that happened earlier in the year and one on my naughty list is jerry sandusky and i would include the entire penn state football program, all those that put university politics above the needs of the children, optics and a football program above the security of children. i think jerry sandusky tops my naughty list because what he did was really take advantage of children that he was supposed to be mentoring, and way too many helped it go on for a long time and not be discovered. i hope they all get a big bag of coal and jerry sandusky in jail gets his coal. >> it's stomach-turning. he's on everybody's list. >> yeah, he was on everybody's list. bad stuff in pennsylvania. >> absolutely. let's go to the political naughty list. you have a general who made some
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news the week of the election. >> you know, this is another one, dana, where richard and i agree, which tells you he really was naughty. it also had us talking about the debate of whether being naughty in your private life should affect your public life and your public profile, your public job. in this case the answer was yes. i think general betrays answered it correctly. he could not continue doing his job as cia director, but he was very naughty. he brought a lot of people down. he's got, you know, paula broadwell in the naughty category, jill martin wag a little bit naughty. other generals got caught in the same type of black hole of naughtiness, and i think it unearthed a lot of the perks and excesses that might be going on there. i hope -- let me tell you this. i hope he put something real nice under the tree for hole betrays. >> well, can i tell you, ana, also i think the very troubling
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thing about what cia director betrays did was, you know, he put national security at risk and potentially put people's lives at risk. you know, he was trying not to get caught, and the only reason he got 'cause caught is because the person he was doing this with was a little wacko, but it was, you know, potentially a very, very dangerous situation. i mean, the other person i have on my naughty list in this category is arnold schwarzenegger who in connection with the publicity tour of his book talked about, you know, his extra marital affairs and the fact that he had -- he had fathered a child with the housekeeper. i mean, i think former governor schwarzenegger this year really seemed to be someone who was living in his own world. >> i don't think it was all that good for maria. >> exactly. >> i'm not so sure going on a book tour and doing interview
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after interview was the way to get your wife back, you know, just the thought, saying. boast of you. it's great to see you. we'll see you in the next hour and talk about politics. merry christmas. thank you for coming in. >> merry christmas. >> ahead on "starting point" in the wake of the newtown tragedy, a newspaper publishes the names and addresses of people who may own guns in their community. imagine the outrage. we will have the details ahead. and a look at christmas around the world. this is russia's biggest tree, 100 feet high, standing tall and proud, where else, but at the kremlin. everything. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices
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welcome back to "starting point." actor, director, rabid red sox flan ben affleck will not be running for senator from his native state of massachusetts to replace john kerry, if john kerry becomes secretary of state. affleck took his facebook page -- took to his facebook paining christmas eve to make the announcement. he said, quote, i love massachusetts and our political process but i am not running for office. we're about to get a great secretary of state and there's
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phenomenal candidates in massachusetts for his senate seat. i look forward to an as amagging campaign. the buzz about ben began when he didn't completely rule out the idea of a politician on cbs's "face the nation" and ted kennedy jr. will also not enter a special election to replace senator john kerry. kennedy, of course, is the son of the late edward m. kennedy and made the announcement yesterday despite the fact he was thinking about it, grateful for all the support and people prodding him to do it, he won't do it just yet but did leave the door wide open for a possible run later. >> instagram is hit with what could be the first class action lawsuit over anger at its new terms of service. in a proposed class action suit filed in san francisco, a california instagram user accused the photo-sharing site
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of bach of access. it was suggested they would now have the right to sell your photos for use in ads without compensation. instagram's founder backtracked on that later after a massive backlash. in the wake of the newtown massacre, a newspaper in upstate new york has actually published the names and addresses of all handgun permit holders in westchester and rockland counties. privacy advocates are now fuming at the journal news. the newspaper editor says it doesn't mean that there's a gun at that location but that someone there is licensed to have a gun. an interesting decision to do that. i'm not so sure that it was the right decision, no matter where you stand on the gun debate, but it's an interesting one. >> really is. >> one to talk about. >> it is. the classic push and pull between privacy which is very real, privacy rights and the desire for transparency,
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especially in the gun debate, especially given, of course, what happened in newtown. >> right, right, right. >> and we'll talk more about that. meanwhile ahead on "starting point," the iphone may be popular, daya, but didn't make our list of best gadgets of 2012. that's right. i'm a blackberry user. what you really want to get your hands on next.
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welcome back. welcome back. the and the new york knicks take on kobe bryant and both will play at l.a.'s staple center and my 18-month-old will be very happy. he'll watch b-ball. first lady michelle obama is in the holiday spirit and she answered calls from kids across the country as part of norad's track santa program.
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they took calls from hawaii, where she and the rest of the first family are spending christmas. queen elizabeth's annual christmas message has an extra dimension being broadcast in 3-d for the first time. she used part of her message to praise the olympic and paralympics from last sum jeer for most of us we can't live without our smartphone. from cool cameras to e-readers to 3-d tvs, there's lots more out there. paul reynolds an editor for "consumer reports" magazine and he picked his top five picks for the holiday season. thanks for joining us. we'll go five, four, three, two were one and we'll start with something i'm dying to get my hands on. the ipad mini. >> right. lots of tablets introduced to compete and the most notable was another ipad which is a smaller ipad.
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8.8" instead of 9.7. much lighter and thinner and in some ways does some stuff that maybe better than the original ipad like for books, for example, it's so much lighter. half the weight. much easier to hold the thing and read a book. hour after hour, then it will be on a full-sides ipad and it's cheaper. starting at $330 instead of $500. >> it's really almost the size of a kindle and what i like about it is that you can actually fit this one. the difference between being able to put it in your purse and not. >> correct. and much more affordable. number four. what's so great. >> people have their tablets and laptops and are getting products like this one that put them together. this can be a regular laptop and it has a touch screen and it's sort of double jointed.
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you can switch it over like that. have it as a stand or just a tablet in your lap you can put it down and use it like that. >> is that getting any traction? it's so hard to compete with the ipad and now the mini? >> it's not directly competing with it. this is a solution for somebody maybe who wants to travel and wants to decide do i take my big tablet, my ipad and my laptop? this offers one device that can do sort of what both of those do. >> that's a good argument for it. i'm also in the market for a camera. this is a great one in your on, right? what makes that so great. >> this this is the first android camera. y you -- if you want to take a
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photo on facebook and e-mail it you can do that in a wi-fi zone. you can tap on it and send it out. so it's starting to get some convenience that people love in their smartphone and getting it on to a camera and now we have some that have 4g so they can be anywhere, not just in a wi-fi zone. >> so it can do almost everything except for make a call? >> exactly, right. >> so this is the -- what i'm wondering about the wi, everybody plays games are people still buying these? >> what i interesting about the wii u is they added this portable game player. what this does is provide in the home, something that is a bigger screen than, say, a smartphone and it allows you to play the wii games not only on the tv set if you want, but to switch it back here so, for example, someone else wants to watch tv you can switch the game to here and it also increased the
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graphics. the graphics on the original wii were pretty crude. the wii game but you can also still play the old wii games which are active. that was the original concept of the wii is that you could do stuff that was up and not just on the couch. >> and your number-one pick, the samsung galaxy. 3450i techie friends say forget the iphone. this is where it's at. >> this is the biggest screen we've seen on a smartphone. 5.5". when the first one came out a lot of us thought no one will want something that's this big. it's too being a for some hands but what they've done is they started to introduce some things that make it eight little easier to handle. for example, you can make the key pad smaller so that you can reach it more easily. so they're starting to get ways to get the advantage of this big screen which is great for things
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like reading books or surfing the web but also getting some conveniences so that if your thumb doesn't reach more than two-thirds the way across. >> how much is this one? >> $300. it's really expensive as a smartphone but it's the biggest and we may see bigger ones coming in the coming years. >> it's almost like a mini ipad mini. >> it's a hybrid between a tablet and the smartphone. it's an interesting solution for people that want something that's a little bit more versatile than a smartphone. >> paul reynolds with "consumer reports" magazine, thanks for the tips. >> merry christmas. >> you, too. coming up, a controversial christmas light display. look at that. we'll talk to the woman who put up those lights, 65,000 of them, to honor or husband. she says she's not going to take them down, no matter what her neighbors say. wn your little word game. i think your friends will understand.
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this is a big tradition here in germany and a symbol of good luck, specially if you touch the buttons on the chimney sweeper's coat. happy new year from germany! dangerous weather across america this morning. live pictures of a massive 20-car pile-up that shut down a highway because of ice and this is just the beginning. it was another silent night in washington coming from the nation's leader on both sides of
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the aisle. one week to go until the country falls off the fiscal cliff. how much is too much when it comes to christmas spirit? take a look at this. neighbors have had enough of this 65,000-light display. but the woman behind it says, it's not going her. and we're going to talk to her live. her name is jan stuart from california and she's up early for us. good morning, merry christmas. i'm in new york. i'm alina cho. >> "starting point" begins right now. and our "starting point" this morning a dangerous winter storm creating holiday travel hazards. new this hour, we're getting word of a pile-up involving at least 20 cars and a big-rig on an interstate 40 west outside of oklahoma city. the crash has shut down
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interstate 40 for two miles. freezing rain turning the road into virtually, an ice rink. bonnie schneider is tracking the storm. >> the freezing rain has been falling in this part of oklahoma since the overnight hours and what will happen is as the colder air wraps behind the storm we'll see sleet accumulating which means we'll see little balls of ice pellets hitting the ground already covered with ice. and then the snow will come. so it's going to be a mixed bag of precipitation from oklahoma into arkansas and places like little rock haven't seen snow falling throughout christmas day in over 80 years. they've seen snow in the state but to have a significant snowstorm on christmas is rare, only happens very, very rarely through the south. and as you can see, we're not only looking at arkansas, but kentucky, southeast missouri will likely see, possibly even a foot of snow. this is a blizzard warning going into effect later tonight and tomorrow and that's when we'll see the worst of it so blowing
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and drifting snow and then the storm progresses eastward impacting cities like cleveland and even into new york as we go into wednesday i don't think new york city will be impacted. so snow is falling in oklahoma. freezing rain as well. but then when you look to the south look at this. the lightning is incredible. we're getting reports of nickel-sized hail in southeast dallas county and the storms are working across louisiana to mississippi at this hour, not only producing strong areas of lightning and heavy downpours, we have thinking fog covering the region and we run the risk of tornados throughout the day. a mirt risk including cities like new orleans to pensacola, florida. this is substantial because not only is it christmas and everyone is traveling it's a huge day for severe weather. from snow, freezing rain and ice. so, please be careful if you're traveling. this is likely to impact millions of people as we go throughout the afternoon today. >> the good news is a few people are working so it's a good day to cuddle up by the fire, hake out and play board games.
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do people do that anymore? i don't know. thank you. to washington now and talk about a lump of coal in your christmas stocking the one-week warning on the fiscal cliff. we're seven days away from tax hikes and spending cuts that could send the economy spiraling into recession. here's what your elected officials are doing about it. have a look. president obama spending christmas eve on the links in honolulu with friends. while lawmakers relax at home for the holidays. right now the senate looks like it might be the only hope for a compromise deal. can a deal be struck? white house correspondent brianna is traveling with the first family in honolulu, hawaii. hey, brianna, good morning. >> good morning, to you, it's been many silent nights actually in washington these days. not because there's nobody there to sort of figure out what's going on with the fiscal cliff but also, because folks really aren't talking. we know the white house is talking to senate democrats as
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we look to the senate as he reconvene on thursday, really, the last-ditch effort to try to do something. as of yet, congressional democrats in the white house are not talking with congressional republicans. that's even at the staff level. what we're expecting now is that the senate majority leader harry reid will try to get something together to get republican support in both the house and the senate. but what they're looking at now is a smaller measure than we've been talking about in recent weeks. really, in recent weeks. president obama and speaker boehner were working toward a bigger package that was supposed to deal with the fiscal health, the long-term fiscal health of the country, which was what the fiscal cliff was supposed to be an incentive for. instead, thousanow it's looking there's some sort of measure to deal with the fiscal cliff, the tax hikes set to kick in and president obama wants them to cut off at $250,000 so for folks
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making less, they don't see their taxes increase and the spending cuts that are set to kick in and it's yet to be determined if that will be part of the smaller measure. we're waiting to see what harry reid comes up with. >> so if he comes up with something, all right, brianna, traveling with the president in honolulu. thank you. dana. the big question is you and brianna were talking about is -- can congress come back here, which they're planning on doing on thursday, and can they figure some way to avert an economic disaster? joining me to talk about that and more, richard is back with us, former writer for clinton and nice to see you guys again. i want to play for both of you, something that grover nor kquis
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and he's famous for making the republicans sign a no-tax pledge. listen to what he told me. >> this is a long fight. four years of a fight and not one week of a fight. and to your earlier question, does the president want to take us over the cliff? i think now, he does. >> okay, i'll start with you as our resident republican. what i'm hearing from republican members is one of the reasons why they just are so dug in, even on raising taxes for millionaires, is because they see this as their moment. they see this as the time where they can really stop spending and keep taxing low. but are they sort of cutting off their nose to spite their face from your perch there in miami? >> actually, i'm in new york city today. >> oh, in new york. >> how about from new york? >> richard is in miami, we'll trade places. >> dana, i don't agree with f norqust. i want tthink we haven't elect aid bunch of lunatics to
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represent us but rather, people that got to message that we want them to work together. it'sier said than done as we've seen. and if this doesn't happen there's going to be plenty of blame to go around. but the american public are going to blame washington. whether it's the president, whether it's congress, whether it's republicans or whether it's democrats. i don't think anybody wants the uncertainty and the economic uncertainty is going to result from a fiscal cliff. so i hope that, you know what? i hope santa claus is bring bringing a lot of parachutes and putting them under the tree today because it's time to hope for the best but brace for the worst. >> i applaud your optimism. i really do. >> it's christmas, you have to be optimistic. >> i know. but i have to say that talking to republicans and democrats, they're saying, richard, some of them, politically, it is probably best for them both to go over the cliff because after january 1st, everybody's taxes go up. what do they take a vote on? tax cuts as opposed to before
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january 1st, they'll have to take a vote on tax increases? >> well, i think the president is keenly aware of the fact that going over the cliff, the so-called cliff without a congressional solution is not good for average americans. so i think he'll do everything to avoid it. he's coming back early from that short trip to hawaii. but i think that that clip you played from mr. norqist is really an important observation that we can see from that clip. he's talking about a long struggle about taxes and entitlements but right now, what it comes down to is -- will the republicans support legislation right now in these next seven days which are going to protect -- which would protect average americans from the real hardships that might be imposed upon them if we do nothing? or if they're not -- if
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republicans won't support this immediate legislation, will they, you know, will they make everyone be held hostage to their tax pledge to grooefr norqist? this is one man who is set on no new taxes on millionaires or on anybody and if the republicans hold everybody hostage as long as -- >> to be fair grover, he gave everybody a pass on that. >> and it didn't work. >> they didn't follow it. but i want to tell you -- >> dana if there's anything we learned from last week's vote is republicans are not held subject. he gave them a pass and encouraged them to do so and they preemply ignored it. >> but other powerful anti-tax groups pushed hard. i talked to several members that got those calls. i would say i have informed pessimism and it's informed by the people who will take the votes. listen to what several lawmakers said on sunday about the possibility or really, the potential of going over the
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cliff. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he cease a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. >> i believed from the beginning and continue to believe that the president has no interest at all in not going over the cliff. he wants to go over the cliff. >> in the aftermath of the house republicans rejecting speaker boehner's so-called plan b, it's the first time that i feel that it's more likely that we'll go over the cliff than not. >> so, look, i want to be proven wrong and i hope i'm proved wrong but december 31st or december 30th, they come up with something to get enough republicans in the senate and get enough republicans to join democrats in the house and pass something but let's assume they go over the cliff. you know, their hope is that they, by january 3rd or so, get something passed but that could really be very, very dangerous for the markets and, also, for our credit rating? >> it could be dangerous -- let
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me just, yeah. let me just say, it could be dangerous for everybody. and i am still optimistic that something will get resolved short term before the end of the year, probably right at the last minute because if we don't, it's going to be a needless -- it's going to be a needless infliction of pain on everybody because the parameters of what will ultimately be a deal, the president was re-elected and received a mandate from a majority of americans that the rich should pay more in taxes. i mean, that's a simple fact. that's the solution. whether it comes this coming week before the fiscal cliff or whether it comes later. that's where we're going to end up. >> and anna, real quick before we go, you know and you see the polls and you talk to your friends in washington, republican friends, if we go over the cliff, republicans are prepared to take the political blame? do they get that? >> i'm sure not. i'm sure there's going to be a lot of finger-pointing on both sides going on but it is also a bad omen dana for what's to
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come. president obama is in a legacy-building mode and i think republicans don't want to be seen by the american public as obstructionists. that means they got to get together and get something done. well it happened before december 31st? it's not looking likely but it needs to happen in the next four years. we need to have cooperation in washington and this and so many other issues. >> amen to that. >> that's such a great note to end on. >> as someone that walks the hauls of congress every day i give you an a. richard, next time we'll send you an e-mail and make sure you get the memo on the yut outfit. >> thanks. other top stories this morning. grim in up state new york. four firefighters have been shot, two fatally after being lured into a sniper's trap. this is the man that allegedly set fire to a house near rochester new york on christmas eve morning. he's 62-year-old will courtroom spanglor. an ex-con who spent 17 years in
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prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980. police say after torching the home he perched himself on a nearby berm with a firearm and began picking up volunteer firefighters as they entered his kill zone. listen to the victims calling for help from the scene. killed by sniper fire, officer thomas, a 911 disbachber, 19 years old and a 43-year-old lieutenant firefighter who was also an officer with the new york police department. both men found dead at the scene. >> as people get up in the
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middle of the night to go put out fires they don't expect to be shot and killed. it's a very difficult situation. >> the two wounded firefighters have been identified as theodore scardino and joseph hoffsteder. no word yet of a possible motive for the shooting. and all day and all night this christmas, people in newtown, connecticut, are paying tribute to the sandy hook elementary school's victims. a candle is being lit for each person killed. 20 children and six adults and organizers of the 24-hour vigil are actually asking volunteers to take half-hour shifts to make sure the candles keep burning. people in newtown, helping each other get through their first christmas after the rampage, one mother saying it's all about the kids and being with family. and newtown's police officer who is have gone through so much received a rare gift this
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christmas, the entire force got the holiday off. and that's thanks to officers from other communities around the country who are pitching in and working for them. that is great! >> it sure is. the pope's message this christmas, make room for god. during a midnight mass at st. peter's basilica, he said the faster we can the more efficient our time-saving appliances come the less time we have. he also said we're now full of ourselves. so much so that we don't mike room for god for others, for children, for the poor or for the stranger. pope benedict calls for peace in the middle east and to violence to end the violence in syria. he has a point. look at this. this is me. this is how i walk around every single day. and -- >> he's right. >> you know? you got your head in all of your device and you don't look up and see who's around you or -- >> there's true. >> or interact with people the way he should. he has a good point. >> he does. particularly around the holidays
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we should be remembering what's important. hopefully, we are. >> absolutely. ahead on "starting point" she has 65,000 christmas lights at her house. mooj living next door? her neighbors want them taken down. jan stewart refuses because she says she's done it to honor her late husband. we'll hear from her live from her very, very bright house. and as we go to break, a look at christmas in flip-flops. just look at how they're spending the holiday. that's in australia. back after this. [ lisa ] my name's lisa, and chantix helped me quit. i honestly loved smoking, and i honestly didn't think i would ever quit. [ male announcer ] along with support, chantix is proven to help people quit smoking.
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welcome back. it's 20 minutes after the hour. everyone knows the house in their neighborhood, the one that goes a little too far with their christmas display? maybe too many lights or maybe inflatable snow globe. take a look at this house. it's in fountain valley, california. we first showed it to you yesterday. get a load of this. 65,000 lights put up in tribute to a man who died of cancer. it's also the source of a lot of controversy in the neighborhood.
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a lot of those neighbors want that display taken down. jan stewart is the owner of the house and she's the one who put up the display and she joins us from california this morning. jan, good morning, great to see you. 65,000 lights. it costs $50,000 and took a month to put up. just tell me a little bit about the display that we're looking at behind you. >> it's a distribute to my late husband. we had been looking at these lights for quite a while on the internet and decided last year was the year we were going to do it. unfortunately he passed away in may so i decided to do it in his honor. and this is the second year. >> well, it's extraordinary. i mean, 65,000 lights. at an enormous cost. just tell me, what goes into putting this display up? and why so elaborate?
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>> well, i just wanted it to be something special. something nobody else had and so, a friend of mine, damian rodriguez, put them up and he's very good at it as you see and just go with the flow, so that's what happened and we're continuing on with this because i've got lots of people, lots of neighbors that say they like it and a whole lot of other people that visited here nightly. some have come back two and three times, you know? and have them sign the guest book and i have like 3,000 signatures that say they like it. everybody else does. even though some of the neighbors around here don't. >> well, and let's -- you're right. it is christmas and it's certainly fessive. not happy that you turned it on at 5:00 in the morning. here's what one of your neighbors told our local affiliate. ktla, watch. >> more prierpt for the las
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vegas strip than for a residential area. most of the houses have christmas decorations. we're not opposed to that. but it's just very bright, very intrusive. >> some of those neighbors, jan, have threatened to go to city hall to try to get an ordinance to have your display taken down. how do you respond to that? >> you know, everybody has a right to celebrate christmas the way they see fit and i'm certainly not bothering them, how they choose to do it. and it's only for another week. or so. and then the display will be gone. you know? and i just don't understand their attitude. everybody else, you know, thanks me and says, great show. we love the lights. do it again and it's just a very few. >> jan, and i understand that and with all due respect, these are people that come and visit
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and drive by. i know one person actually rented a bus and brought 30 of her friends. drove 30 miles to get to you. but -- and often the crowd is three to five people deep across the street. i understand, you know, it is extraordinary and definitely is something to see, but living next to it, don't you think it would be a different thing and can you see their point and see where they might say, this is a little bit of a nuisance? >> yes. i can see how they would get that way. but once again, it doesn't last for very long. it's just a very short brief period in the year and for all the smiles and happy faces that i've heard these people tell me and how much they like it, it's worth it, you know? i'm not asking for any donations or money or anything like that. i just want everybody to be happy. because it makes me feel nice when they are smiling and nowadays it's great to have a
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smile here whenever you can get it. >> and you make an absolutely great point with that. i guess, my question is, when does the display come down? after the first of the year? and will you do it again next year? >> yes. yes, hopefully, i will do it again next year. and you know, i'm sure we'll have the same problems, but, once again, i think they're outnumbered by the people that come every night and tell me how much they like it. so it's worth it to me. i like to mike people happy. it's christmas. >> and merry christmas to you, jan stewart and i give you a lot of credit for spending a month and $50,000 putting up 65,000 lights on your house. it's on extraordinary sight. i wish you the best and thank you for waking up early for us. >> same to you. thank you. >> dana? >> ahead on "starting point" an nfl coach's triumphant return.
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it's the type of emotional boost that could just send your team on a magical playoff run. the indianapolis colts head coach chuck pagano made an emotional return to the team yesterday after spending most of the season undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia. >> you're going to have to go through something, i know exactly why i'm here now. this is the place you'd want to be, starting with our owner and on down. the finest people i've ever been around my entire life and i thank y'all from the bottom of my heart.
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thank you. >> many people throughout the community have been donning bracelets and two cheerleaders shaved their heads in solidarity. the colts joust clinched a playoff spot on sunday. so what will be playing or maybe what's playing right now in the background as the kitties are opening their presents? maybe it's this ♪ silent night, holy night >> according to the latest poll from the research group, "silent night" is america's favorite christmas song. who else to sing it but bing? "silent night" is followed by "white christmas" and "drummer boy" and in firefighter place, "the christmas song." all good ones. >> they're all great ones. >> i'll listen to them all all day long today i'm sure. ahead on "starting points"
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some airports already cancelling flights thanks to the threat of the feet of snow to tornados to freezing rain. we'll have your christmas-day forecast next. and what is christmas all about? you're looking at it. a sailor surprises his mom and it's all caught on camera. they both join us live. you're going to want to see this coming up.
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santho, ho, ho!anta! santa! want to see some magic? watch this! merry chr... (crash) ow! i landed on my keys. did you get that? oh yeah. that was amazing. here you go. that was a fun trick! see? santa's okay. walk it off santa. share videos instantly with s beam. on the galaxy siii and note ii. for a limited time get two flip covers for the price of one. exclusively at verizon.
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welcome back to a special edition of "starting point" on a christmas day. it's 4 minutes after the hour and good morning everybody, i'm alina kho in new york. hey, dana, great to see you. >> me, too. this has gone so fast. i'm dana bash in d.c. on christmas morning. thanks for joining us. our top story we're watching right now with this dangerous
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winter storm that's going across the country making travel very hazardous and a new video we have of a major pile-up that's shut down part of i-40 in oklahoma involving at least 20 vehicles including three big-rigs, one of which overturned. the patrol has shut down interstate for two miles. we have a trooper, spokesperson for the oklahoma highway patrol. what can you tell us, betsy, about where things stand. this sounds like a horrific crash. >> good morning, dana. it has been a horrific crash. we know several people were injured and transported from the scene to local hospitals. we don't know the number of injured or we know it's not any fatalities but we know we did have some injured and transported from the scene. like you said, the crash occurred about 3:00 this morning. we had some precipitation that fell and then froze on the roadways and as you can see
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that's an overpass and those traditionally freeze and stay frozen quicker and longer than most other roadways. we did have 21 cars involving three semis and we have units there at the scene trying to upright, semi so the road has been shut down since three and it will probably be another hour or so. >> very frightening. nothing worse than sliding on ice and there's nothing you can do especially when you're in a big truck. do you know -- we know there were 21 vehicles involved. do you know how many people were taken to the hospital? >> i don't know the numbers. i think it's somewhere close to ten people involved. we had ten separate collisions with 21 vehicles involved. like i said we don't have any updates on the casualties or how many or how -- the extent of them. but that information is still kind of trickling in. >> and the fact that it was on an overpass adds even more danger and fear to a pretty dicey situation. but it was contained to the r d
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roadw roadway? >> that's correct. it's a pretty long drop there above the oklahoma river. we were grateful we didn't have any fatalities out there this morning. definitely scary and i'm sure that's not the way the people wanted to start their christmas morning. we do, like i said, have units still on the scene and odot has been out there to fan the bridge so we're hoping to get the roadway clear. right now we're asking folks to increase the traveling distance between them and the car in front of them and to slow way down this morning. >> that's good advice on any day, especially when the roads are that icy. thank you very much for joining us. appreciate it and keep us posted on how things are going. and this is just the beginning. we'll get to bonnie schneider who is tracking the storm in oklahoma and all over the country. bonnie? this just in. we have a tornado watch for louisiana. it's all part of the same system that brought freezing rain and ice and now sleet to oklahoma. eventually snow. you can see this tornado watch covers some big cities in
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louisiana like baton rouge and new orleans. it goes until 1:00 central time and as we get a closer look this is part of a larger storm system that produced a severe thunderstorm watch over texas and arkansas. look at the frequent lightning strikes. i've been watching all morning and it's hitting dallas hard as well. lots of lightning and reports of nickel sized hail. what does that mean? a miert risk of severe weather in terms of thunderstorms for areas in the central gulf coast. 30 to 60% chance of severe weather happening within a 25-mile radius of the orange you're you see highlighted. we're likely to see severe weather move into atlanta as well. behind the system, snow is falling, freezing rain and ice. this is a massive systems that now not only producing heavy snow but it will bring about blizzard conditions meaning blowing and drifting snow tonight including tennessee and into kentucky as well. this is a massive storm system that's going to impact millions of people today that are traveling on christmas and tonight. >> well, as much as we can, obviously, it seems like the
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best thing to do is stay cuddled next to the fire and don't go oust as much as possible. bonnie, thank you very much. >> good advice. on christmas day, what could be a better gift than to have off son or daughter return from service overseas? especially when it's a surprise? that's exactly what happened to this mom. debbie giles of texas, her son, sailor matt giles, planned the ultimate surprise, sending an oversized christmas card that she read aloud to her friend on a cell phone and then, well, have a look. >> -- present to give you and i decided that this -- because it will show everyone that i love my mom and i'm damn proud to be her son and now i'm really sorry that she had to be the one to give it to you. i would have personally done it but that would have really messed up the best part of giving. i love you, matt.
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thank you. >> awwh! >> are you excited? >> yes, i am. oh, my god! >> how great is that? >> that video got more man 70,000 hits on line so far and probably as many tears from viewers. and we're so happy to welcome debbie and matt giles who join us from houston. merry christmas and thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> yes, and merry christmas to you, too. >> it's a very herry christmas i know in your household. debbie, i'll begin with you. in watching that video, i have to say, you kept a fairly calm -- i'm surprised you didn't totally freak out. what was going through your mind when you turned around and you saw your son? >> it was a total shock. i wasn't expecting that at all. and i wasn't paying attention when my oldest son had said somebody had given me something
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to give to me. and then i -- i read the card and i didn't pay attention to the last line that, then i looked up when he touched me and it was a total shock. >> matt, i know that this took precision planning. tell me, what did it take to get all the way home from your deployment without having your mom find out? >> i actually knew a couple weeks before we got back from deployment when we would get leave. and i had been kind of leading my mom on. i told her it would be around new years that i would be back and i end up going to my cousin's house. that's who receives on the phone with and i had made the card over at her house and, yeah, i called my brother and he's the one that took the video. and it just worked out perfectly.
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>> thank god you put it on video. 70,000 people have enjoyed it and counting. did you ever think it would get so much attention? >> i really didn't. i was happy i was at my friend's house a couple of days after and i saw that it had 1,000 views and i was like, wow, that's amazing. i never thought it would be that big and next thank you know on cnn. >> exactly, and we're so glad you're here. debbie, tell me, what has this christmas holiday been like with your son, matt, home? how have you been spending it? >> it's been wonderful. we spent last friday with all of my children and grandchildren. we had our family get-together then. it's been wonderful having matt home. i hadn't been able to see him since march. >> oh, wow. >> my brother passed away. >> i think we have -- well, and, in fact, i know, debbie, that your husband recently suffered a
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massive stroke. i'm curious, how -- i know he's on the mend but how is he doing this christmas? >> he's doing really great. he actually had the stroke last year. and his whole right side is affected. but he's able to get some movement in his right arm and his leg and right foot now so he's progressing really well with some therapy. >> that's great to hear. and i'm sure he must be so thrilled to have matt home. matt, i know you're not allowed to answer any questions about your deployment, how long you're home and all of that. but i guess i'm curious to know, what would be you were one wish for next year? >> my one wish for next year, that's really hard. i guess if possible, i would wish my dad could actually stand up on his own. he could walk again. it's a big wish and it probably
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won't happen but he's made a lot of improvement and for him to improve as much he has from the stroke until now, more than enough and i'm just so proud to have come home and seen that he's doing so well. see that my mom has been taking care of him so well. and it's been really hard for her. she's pretty much on her own. she had some help from my brother and sister. but she's just been blown away. that's why i was so mhappy to c home and actually give her a surprise. she's been working so hard and i wanted to give her something really good for the holidays. >> well, i know that christmas has extra special meaning for your family this holiday season. and what a poignant thing to say about your father, matt. i wish him and you all the very best and, debbie, you as well and your entire family this holiday season. >> thank you. >> thank you so much for joining us this christmas day and sharing your story.
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it means a great deal to us right here on "starting point." >> well, thank you very much and it meant a lot for us, too. >> it did. >> happy holidays. >> if i had one wish i would wish that all the military personnel can be home with their families through the holiday season. >> great. and you know how important that is. all right, merry christmas to you both. "starting point" will be back after this. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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i just served my mother-in-law your chicken noodle soup but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then.
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but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. welcome back, actor, director, ben affleck will not be running for senate to fill john kerry's senate seat if he's confirmed as secretary of state. affleck wrote on his facebook page, quote, i love massachusetts and our political process but i'm not running for office. we're about to get a great secretary of state and there are some phenomenal candidates in massachusetts for a senate seat. i look forward to an amazing campaign. republican congressman ron paul blasting the nra's plan for armed guards at every school. on his website he says, absolute safety is unattainable and pursuing it gives the government way too much control over people's lives. he also criticized those who called for more gun control laws
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after the shootings. he said, criminals just don't obey the laws. america lost one of its most beloved actors, jack klugman has died. he was in the show "quincy." but he was best known for his role as the sloppy, cigar-chomping sports writer in "the odd couple." a show that never really took off with audiences until years after it ended in reruns and on nick at night. here he is with larry king back in 2004. >> never below. we're never above 45 were we were tony was so worried. i said, listen to the audience how they're laughing. >> you were never a hit. >> never, never. >> klugman was once a five-pack-a-day smoker and heaven chully lost his voice to throat cancer in the '80s but taught himself how to speak again. his son says he died with his wife by his side on christmas
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eve. klugman was 90 years old. >> amazing life. up next, how to save money even after the gifts are opened this morning. and which of those gifts that you give are maybe, likely to be returned? but first, how do we have christmas in 2012 without this? christmas gingham style. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move from ambition to achievement. and the next great idea could be yours. ♪
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you've shopped and spent and you're probably opening presents right now. are you getting what you want? our friends at retail insider are examining the trends and what people asked and how they save money and how you can save in the holiday shopping season. it's not over. thank you very much for joining us, especially on this christmas morning. let's start with, you know, the whole idea of saving. we've been talking all morning about the fiscal cliff coming and the poll says people are finding ways to shop smart. 36% used an online promo code and 20% used in-store coupons. is that typical or do you see a rise?
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>> we're definitely seeing a rise. every year customers are becoming more savvy and people are concerned about their budgets so we're encouraged to see those stats there. i also read a survey from bank rate recently that said that 30% of people in anticipation of the fiscal cliff were cutting back on their holiday shopping. i think it will be really interesting to see how the numbers play out once the holiday is over. >> very interesting. i want to ask you about gift cards, because it used to be a little bit goesh or a little weird to get somebody a gift card because they know how much you spent. you say 86% of people say gift cards are acceptable. the problem is that people height not use them, right? >> yes. we did find that 1 in 4 people leave a balance on their gift cards and i think it's really important to remember that, you know, a balance on a gift card is just like cash. so i want to remind people, definitely use them. i think sometimes the problem is that you leave them at home and you're out shopping and you forget that -- to put it in your
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pocketbook so if you have a gift card with a balance, pop it in your wallet and carry it with you. you never know when you might be able to use it. >> good advice. as people are opening their gifts they're going to be polite but we all know that we all have a relative or two who just can't get it right. they give us something we don't necessarily want. let's talk about returns. your website has found that 31% of people would consider returning gifts. 26% would regift the gift. now regifting was considered like, "the" biggest faux pas but maybe not so much? >> it's something that's new and it may not work for you but it might work for someone else so i think if you have the opportunity to return a gift and purchase something that you like better, i think that's perfectly okay. but you know, again, the gift that you may not like may -- may delight someone else so why not find a special place in the basement and store those gifts that are brand new and look for the next recipient for that gift
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that they might enjoy. >> might have room or i might do that at my house, maybe. let's look at kids. trends for kids. it's retro, right? we call it vintage. but it's retro. a lot of the things that we played with as kids are coming back for our kids? >> yes. i write a lot of gift guides foreretail blog and it was so interesting to see the resurgence of retrotoys. the fergy with brand new technology. power rangers. it was exciting for me to see the toys that i enjoyed as a kid and see our kids enjoying them today. >> let's talk about apple. i was in the apple store the other day and i walked in and said, recession? what recession. it's unbelievable. no matter what time of day it's bustling. your poll shows that 49% of people on your website do want an iphone when it comes to a smartphone. 41% -- excuse me, that should be
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49%. 41% want an ipad if you're talking about a tablet. they don't have the entire market but they certainly have -- it's like when you talk about kleenex you mean tissue. it's the same kind of thing? >> it is becoming that way. you know? ipod became the new music player and that was the ubiquitous term for it. it's all about the design. they're so cool looking. with ipad in particular, we were talking about this last night at home. not everyone has a use for an ipad and it's very specific functionality. however, you see one and you have to have one regardless of whether you really need it or not and i think that they'll really hit a home run with their design and people want them regardless. >> thank you so much for joining us. great tips. great information and you can get more on your website. we'll be right back in a moment. [ woman ] dear cat, your hair mixes with pollen and dust.
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ups came in, analyzed our supply chain, inventory systems... ups? ups. not fantasy? who would have thought? i did. we did, bob. we did. got it.